City of Music - Museum of Music

Cité de la Musique - Musée de la Musique

The Cité de la Musique (City of Music) is a group of institutions dedicated to music and situated in the La Villette quarter, 19th arrondissement, Paris. It was designed by the architect Christian de Portzamparc and opened in 1995.

It consists of an amphitheater; a concert hall that can accommodate an audience of 800-1,000; a museum of music, containing an important collection of classical music instruments dating mainly from the fifteenth- to twentieth-century; and exhibition halls, workshops and archives. Part of François Mitterrand's Grands Projets along with the Parc de la Villette, the Cité de la Musique reinvented La Villette - the former slaughterhouse district.

The Museum of Music (Musée de la Musique) features a collection of several hundred musical instruments collected by the Conservatoire de Paris. The museum's collection contains instruments used in classical and popular music from the seventeenth century to the present time including lutes, archlutes, almost 200 classical guitars, violins by Italian luthiers Antonio Stradivari, the Guarneri family, Nicolò Amati; French and Flemish harpsichords; pianos by French piano-makers Erard and Ignaz Pleyel; and saxophones by Adolph Sax.

The instruments are exhibited by period and by type. Audio devices are provided at the entrance allowing visitors to hear commentary and excerpts of music played on the instruments.


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